Business Intelligence For Dummies book cover

Business Intelligence For Dummies

By: Swain Scheps Published: 01-10-2008

You're intelligent, right? So you've already figured out that Business Intelligence can be pretty valuable in making the right decisions about your business. But you’ve heard at least a dozen definitions of what it is, and heard of at least that many BI tools. Where do you start?

Business Intelligence For Dummies makes BI understandable! It takes you step by step through the technologies and the alphabet soup, so you can choose the right technology and implement a successful BI environment. You'll see how the applications and technologies work together to access, analyze, and present data that you can use to make better decisions about your products, customers, competitors, and more.

You’ll find out how to:

  • Understand the principles and practical elements of BI
  • Determine what your business needs
  • Compare different approaches to BI
  • Build a solid BI architecture and roadmap
  • Design, develop, and deploy your BI plan
  • Relate BI to data warehousing, ERP, CRM, and e-commerce
  • Analyze emerging trends and developing BI tools to see what else may be useful

Whether you’re the business owner or the person charged with developing and implementing a BI strategy, checking out Business Intelligence For Dummies is a good business decision.

Articles From Business Intelligence For Dummies

5 results
5 results
Business Intelligence For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Cheat Sheet / Updated 02-24-2022

Business intelligence process creates an environment for better decision-making. To make successful business decisions, you need to gain insight in business intelligence, follow the main steps of the key performance indicators (KPI) cycle, find the best source to store and process operational data, and assess and use standard business intelligence applications.

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Essential Steps of the Key Performance Indicators Cycle

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

Business intelligence (BI) is an activity, tool, or process that allows businesses to create clarity and support around their decision-making approach by determining key performance indicators (KPIs). The success level of any business endeavor can almost be measured or quantified in some aspect: Step 1: Build or define the core business strategy or objectives Step 2: Specify progress metrics (KPI’s), and define thresholds that indicate degrees of success. Step 3: Measure performance over time as a baseline Step 4: Adjust tactics and gauge correlative changes in success metrics Step 5: Apply lessons to subsequent strategy definition But business intelligence is very much a cultural phenomenon, moving away from gut-feel strategic choices and moving toward an evidence-driven rational approach to business.

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Common Operational Data Sources in Business Intelligence

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

Businesses digitally store a tremendous amount of operational data, and for business intelligence to function, it needs wide-open roads between data sources. Mainframe legacy systems still form the foundation of many companies’ data centers because of their ability to process and harbor huge quantities of data, but their data is notoriously difficult to get to as many of the legacy applications are obsolete, proprietary, or pre-standards software. Other options for data sources are: Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP): Often implemented throughout the organization in modules that map to specific business domains, such as supply-chain, human resources, finance, accounts payable, and so on. ERP systems store a lot of transactional data used in today’s BI environments. Customer Relationship Management: A common data source for business intelligence, CRM systems do just what they say: they process and store customer profile and behavior information, like purchase activity. E-Commerce: Web applications can act as source data systems for business intelligence platforms by feeding real-time sales activity.

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Business Intelligence Insights

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

To help your company drive smart decisions and improve the way you do business, check out this variety of forms that can provide insight into business intelligence (BI). Query responses: Raw data produced by the BI system, allowing the user to draw immediate conclusions Reports: Structured and formatted data, built as part of a scheduled event, or on the fly as an ad hoc report Derived Analysis: Insights produced by interpretation of a front-end system’s output, after that application has applied rules, heuristics, other business information, and context to it, such as in a dashboard or scorecard

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Common Business Intelligence Applications

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

When choosing a business intelligence application, your goal is put an effective Business Intelligence (BI) solution into place, and you're looking at processes and software. This list represents some of the more frequently used BI applications: Source Data Microsoft: SQL Server, Access Oracle: Oracle 11g SAP: N/A IBM: DB2 Business Objects: N/A ETL, Data Integration, Warehousing Microsoft: Integration Services aka SSIS (formerly known as DTS) Oracle: Warehouse Builder SAP: SAP BW IBM: DB2 Data Warehouse, Warehouse ManagerWebSphere DataStage (ETL) IBM Information Server Business Objects: Business Objects XI R2: Data Integrator (ETL) Data Federator (virtualization) Rapid Marts (standard platform data marts) Query and Analysis Microsoft: SQL Server Analysis Services, Access, Excel Oracle: Warehouse Builder, Oracle Hyperion Essbase SAP: Netweaver BI IBM: Various Business Objects: Business Objects XI R2: Web Intelligence (query tool) Voyager (OLAP) Desktop Intelligence (query tool) Reporting, Information Microsoft: SQL Server Reporting Services, Access Oracle: BI Suite Enterprise & Standard Editions: query, analysis, reporting, Siebel Answers, Interactive Dashboards SAP: Netweaver BI IBM: BIRT, Design Studio, Alphablox Business Objects: Crystal Reports Other Front-End Tools Microsoft: Excel Pivot Tables, PerformancePoint 2007 (enterprise scorecarding) Oracle: Oracle Data Mining SAP: Netweaver BI IBM: IBM Intelligent Miner (data mining) Business Objects: Crystal Xcelsius (visualization tools), Crystal Vision (dashboard), InfoView (BI portal) Specialty Apps Microsoft: MS Sharepoint Server 2007 (report distribution) Oracle: Business domain operational analytics applications, Hyperion System 9 Financial Management, Financial Planning SAP: ERP Software, Financial Analytics (formerly Outlooksoft) IBM: Websphere Content Discovery (unstructured search) Business Objects: Information OnDemand (hosted BI solutions), Performance Management (Formerly Cartesis)

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